Tuesday night the Plymouth City Council voted to allow staff to apply for a $325,000 Hennepin County Youth Sports Program grant that would go toward the construction of a new 7,220 square-foot sports training facility at the Plymouth Ice Center.
There is currently a training facility located at Highway 55 and Xenium Lane North in Plymouth that is run by Acceleration Minnesota, a company that works with athletes in more than a dozen sports. The city says if the project moves forward, Acceleration Minnesota would move and lease and run the new facility.
Plymouth would have to find some way to foot the estimated $960,000 bill to build it. It's turning to Hennepin County to see if it would be willing to satisfy a third of the project's costs.
Thanks to legislation tied to the building of Target Field, Hennepin County has about $2 million per grant cycle it can use to help fund community projects that support youth sports. Grant awards range from $10,000 to $325,000. Diane Evans, the director of Plymouth's Parks and Recreation department, told the city council that Hennepin County receives about 20 to 30 applicants for these youth sports grants.
As part of the application process, the city must prove it and its donors can make up the rest of the project's costs. So far, the Wayzata Youth Hockey Association has pledged to put $100,000 into the project. Evans says local booster clubs will kick in about $10,000. She says other partners, such as Wayzata High School, are also considering helping out.
While many different athletes will benefit from the new center, Wayzata Youth Hockey has the most to gain by Acceleration Minnesota moving to the Plymouth Ice Center.
"It’s certainly a lot of money to raise," says Wayzata Youth Hockey Association President Greg Gibson, "but what we do is work overtime through our members to raise money and we very well could be soliciting you to buy a pizza."
Plymouth has until Oct. 5 to submit the grant application to Hennepin County. The city should know by the end of the year whether it will get any grant money. If it does, the project must be completed by June 30, 2014.
September 19, 2012